I’ve often talked about how one of my favourite things is to make bread. I love the process – the kneading, the proving, the adding of extra ingredients, the baking and oh my THAT smell. But sometimes, it’s just as nice to have a loaf of freshly baked bread without all the hours that go into a yeast risen loaf.
Because with the magic of other raising agents you CAN have a yummy loaf of bread in less than half the time it takes with all the usual proving.
In my youthful pastry chef days, bread was the first job of the day. Get the dough made then leave it to prove while you got on with ALL the other things on that day’s list. And because you had guests that were often staying for several nights it was nice to offer them different flavours of bread each day. So I got used to chucking all sorts of things in my dough – dried fruit, olives, nuts, all kinds of cheese, vegetables, garlic, oats … the list goes on. One day a colleague commented how nice it was to see just plain ‘ole bread on the menu because I was always “putting different shit in my bread” 🤣 Ahhh, Jean-Pierre, he made me laugh every single day!
So here I am, putting ‘merde’ in my bread again!!
There’s also the amazing vegan beer that is FitBeer. This stuff is THE stuff of stuffs. Slightly fruity, quite crisp, a touch malty. Vegan beer drinking heaven. They have quite the inspiring story to tell as well.
It gives this bread a truly lovely flavour – full, rounded and rich bodied. A bit like me 😉
So if you’re put off of making fresh bread because of the sheer amount of time it takes (and, lets face it, effort because of all that kneading!) give this loaf a try. You won’t be disappointed. AND you’ll have freshly baked bread 😉
Herbed Beer Bread
Yield 1 loaf
- 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tblsp coconut sugar
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme - leaves only
- 1/2 cup chopped chives (around 1 large handful uncut chives)
- 2 tblsp oil - olive oil and avocado oil and melted coconut oil all work for this
- 2 tsp mustard - wholegrain, dijon or English all taste great!
- 1 1/2 cups Fitbeer - vegan and non-alcoholic beer
- 1/2 cup almond milk
3 x 9 inch loaf tin
- Preheat your oven to 170 Fan / 190 C / 375 F / Gas 5. I also brush my tin with a little oil and dust with flour as it's an old tin and losing its non-stick! But if yours is new you probably won't need to do this!
- In a large bowl mix together both the flours, baking powder, salt, coconut sugar and herbs
- In a smaller bowl or jug mix together the oil, mustard, beer and milk then stir into the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula or by hand
- Mix together well until it forms a dough then tip into your prepared tin
- Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes then check to see if it's cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle of the loaf - it should come out clean with no bits of dough still clinging to it. If it's not cooked yet, just return to the oven and cook in 5-10 minute increments, keeping an eye on it!
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool on a wire rack
- If you don't eat all the bread before it starts to go stale it's also just lovely as toast!